One of the greatest delusions I had about motherhood was that I, alone, was the superhero of women who would somehow be exempt from the discomforts that come with pregnancy. After all, I could party like Tony Stark and had the immune system of Wolverine. I could function on minimal sleep and still wake up eager to be a team player, ready to conquer the world. If supreme physical fitness and unwavering discipline weren’t required, I was basically a Navy Seal with boobs.
How hard could pregnancy be? I have never been a small girl, so for me it was just going to be nine months of my normal body while being pampered by everyone around me, right? This would be a breeze. Waking up rested because I was sleeping like a geriatric. Unimaginable energy because I gave up smoking and ate spinach and fruit by the truckload. Flawless, porcelain skin without even having to be bitten by a vampire. This was going to be a cake walk, and I wouldn’t even have to feel guilty about eating the cake.
I’ll give you moms’ a moment to laugh about my ignorance. I’ll wait.
The reality of pregnancy
My unborn child also thought it was hilarious and decided to give me a swift kick in the ass to show me who’s boss. I learned early on, I was merely a vessel holding the new master of my universe, and my arrogance would not be tolerated. Pregnancy for me turned into always looking like I needed a stiff drink, without actually being able to have one.
Morning sickness conquered me early and often, lasting nearly six grueling months. Not one to walk the Boulevard of Broken Dreams, I tried to find a silver lining between puke sessions. For instance, did you know that giving up happy hour, eating better, and nearly vomiting all over your husband every ten minutes is a very inexpensive weight loss program? For the minor cost of being responsible for a priceless human life and enduring chronic exhaustion and nausea, you too can lose weight! What a bargain.
Never one to be subtle in announcing my accomplishments, the hallway leading to the scale in my OBGYN’s office became my personal Fashion Week runway where I constantly announced my ongoing weight loss. I would make the nurse check last visit’s weight to compare it to my current, lower, weight before I saddled up in exam table stirrups. I envisioned going into labor with washboard abs.
My morning sickness weight loss program ended, and for two weeks I went through what people call the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy. Most women feel exquisite during this time. They bask in a pregnancy glow, full of life and energy, ready to take maternity photos in a white gown while walking elegantly in a meadow or some other Pinterest-approved location. For me, it meant I could finally function like a human being, and not the exhausted shell of a woman and barf delivery system I had become.
Fast forward to this week, where the “honeymoon phase” and I parted ways. Despite avoiding sick people and religiously washing my hands, a cold has somehow managed to find it’s way to my chest and head. This normally would be a minor issue for me, but third trimester pregnancy has brought on a cold symptom no one warned me about.
Why wasn’t I warned about this?
So there I am, relaxing with no makeup, my beach ball belly, in pirate pajama pants and A Little Mermaid tank top, snot seductively rolling down my face, as I battle this cold with no cold medication. (Being sexy is obviously a top priority in my house these days). My husband and I were watching a documentary about the CrossFit Games, because I like to watch feats of human strength and endurance that I will never personally attempt to accomplish.
My child, now the size of a cauliflower, according to one of the fifty pregnancy apps I downloaded, is pushing on my bladder, but I endure because watching the CrossFit elite motivates me to needlessly suffer.
As I watch some of the world’s greatest athletes do hundreds of grueling push-ups, pull-ups, and lift obscene amounts of weight with blood-soaked hands and broken bones, I violently sneeze.
It pulls a muscle.
It also makes me pee all over myself.
I burst into tears and hysterical laughter. This makes the strained muscle worse. There I am; laughing, crying, snotting, and peeing in my pirate pants. My dignity has been washed away by a single gesundheit.
My child has mercilessly taken my bladder hostage and welcomed me to my third trimester. It is the beginning of the end. My girlfriends inform me that this will become my new normal, and that it only gets worse after the baby is born.
Currently, my cold is subsiding, and my pulled muscle feels better, but the psychological devastation of this event is just the beginning. Keep me posted if anyone knows of an infant/adult diaper bundle package, because it sounds like I’m going to need it.
Seriously though, anxiety washes over me now every time I feel a sneeze forming in the back of my nose. It’s one thing for this to happen in front of your husband or best friend. It’s quite another to be at Starbucks with a client and not be able to leave your seat because you’ve left a baby pool of pee in the chair. Every dust particle I inhale could be the one that triggers a public attack on my dignity.
God bless you moms out there, I had no idea the physical and psychological warfare you’ve been dealing with regarding bladder function.
“Welcome to Motherhood” my girlfriends say, “the water is warm.” No one tells you the water is warm because everyone’s peeing in it.